Instagram’s “Activity” tab—the “Following” feature right next to “You” in the notifications section of the app—is going away, BuzzFeed reports. If you use it frequently, you know it as the field where you can spy on your friends, family, loved ones and favorite celebrities to see what they’re liking and commenting across the application. If you’ve never used it before, perhaps you’re so distracted by your own notifications, likes, and comments that you’ve never noticed it before. And what does that say about you?
In my experience, the “Activity” tab is best used to see who is sitting around liking Instagram-thotty ass shots all day, who follows dozens of dog accounts, and everything else in between. It is a deliciously simple way to stalk people online, and I will miss it dearly. Beyond that, I’m worried about how it will effect gossip sites. How else will tabloids find out that Selena Gomez and Niall Horan are kind of talking again the second one of them likes a sultry selfie of the other? Have the people who run Instagram no empathy for popular culture?
Instagram’s head of product, Vishal Shah, told BuzzFeed it was kind of a no brainer to ditch the “Activity” tab because most people didn’t even realize their thirst trap likes were being broadcast to the world (or, at least, to savvy social media users.) “People didn’t always know that their activity is surfacing. So you have a case where it’s not serving the use case you built if for, but it’s also causing people to be surprised when their activity is showing up,” Shah said.
Apparently the feature was originally meant to help Instagram users discover new content to engage with. That makes sense. Typically, you like at least some of the same stuff your friends like, and when Instagram was new, it was an easy way to find and follow your interests. However, it soon became utilized to stalk, and I will miss it for that very reason. Stay brave out there, horn dogs. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before your privacy is violated in some other creative way. And I will be looking.